Colour your life

Jan's hatJan is bold with colour and teaches us to be brave. She is modest in what she can and has accomplished. She cares passionately about fibre arts and textile skills. Over the years she has influenced this in Adelaide by pursuing her love of style and colour. She loves felting and in our group she tries to show newcomers ways and means of being able to felt something worthwhile and interesting. She works with the Marion Cultural Centre to help develop Gallery M where she has her felted pieces in the shop and she has been part of their exhibitions. This breakthrough in elevating the importance of textile art in Adelaide is thanks to people like Jan. Her work is featured left.  Sonya, our roving reporter, brings you her story: 

Jan’s story

I have been sewing since my primary school days. Mum used to make all our clothes, as folks did in those days. In grade 7 we all made a baby’s dress with smocking, then sewing it up and crocheting around the edging.

I attended Marion High School in its 1st year of opening.  From there I went to work at Toy Wholesales in their office for 7 years. Then for the next 7 years I worked at the Shell Company. That all ended after I got married and had a baby.  I used to do a bit of embroidery at that time. When my son was 5 years old I went back to work in several different offices. I decided I would sooner work in a business of my own than continue working for others.   So I bought a craft shop at Aldgate, called The Spindle House.  It stocked spinning wheels, fleece, lazy Kates and various other things to do with spinning and craft. And that’s when I learned to spin. We also stocked leadlight supplies, so I learned to cut glass and do lead lighting.

Eventually I moved the shop to Brighton Road. I sold commercial wool there, as well. It was a big shop too. But I eventually sold that because I could see that weekend work would be coming in the future and I didn’t want to do that.

Fast forward some years.

When I retired I joined the Embroiderers’ Guild. I then started felting from the Internet but found it difficult to locate the wool I needed for that. Someone told me I could buy it at the Spinners and Weavers Guild. And that’s where I met Hilary and some of the other spinners. They asked me to come to their group and demonstrate how I made felted flowers. It was there that I discovered the Seaford Spinners, joined up and have been a member ever since.

Jan, your work is haute couture standard. Exquisitely crafted and the colours you use are always stunningly beautiful. We are indeed privileged to have you in our midst.

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Fabulous felting

felting fibre and matBeth had us entranced this week. We always like watching her work. She is very zen and her process is very meditative. This week she brought a long a holey felting mat and some fabulous fibre from frabjous fibers which she had bought on her recent trip to the USA but said you could get it at Craft Alley Designs. The site is  being upgraded so is not currently available.

The opulence blend Beth had brought in caught our attention because of the mix of fibres :  superfine merino,tussah silk, baby camel down, royal baby alpaca. It sounded opulent!!  The colour Tourmaline comes from a semi precious gemstone with distinct visual qualities. The fibre certainly lived up to the name. We loved the colours and the feel of the fibre.

Beth set to work carefully poking the fibre into the holes with a chopstick. It will make flowers. The felters in the group then had lots of conversations about the process and what could , might and would happen. It created a lot of interest and productive ideas.

Fibre Show – Blue Knob Hall Gallery

Our four seasons
Our Four Seasons – Robin Moore

Marjorie has been away interstate with her husband. She has visited a local spinning group but they also made a trip to Nimbin to visit the Fibre Show at the Blue Knob Hall Gallery. Nimbin hosted the Aquarius Festival in 1973 and was one of our first sustainable, alternative living areas in Australia which, at the time, was strongly influencing green living. They were ahead of their time. The gallery looks to be interesting and runs a number of good exhibitions. It is really good to see that fibre art is starting to be picked up and shown all around Australia. Marjorie says there were some lovely pieces here and she has photos which we’ll get when she is not so busy relaxing!

Nimbin